When I was a young girl growing up in the Bronx, NY, I loved to go to the public library. My mom would drop me off at the library and then go shopping at the supermarket.
The library was my babysitter. I’d head over to the “NEW BOOKS” display and scan the binders and jackets of each book. I liked the fresh smell and feel of new books — there weren’t any dirty fingerprints all over the shiny covers.
My mom would return after an hour or so. I’d check out my books and then we would stop at the bakery for a big sprinkle cookie (a large round shortbread with chocolate sprinkles on top) to eat on the walk home. Ah, the simple pleasures of life.
When I grew up and had kids of my own, I often took my daughter A and son D to the library near our home in Cherry Hill, NJ. Once again, I’d wander over to the shelf that said “NEW BOOKS” and pick out the pretty picture books. There’s nothing as wonderful or as relaxing as the joy of reading a book to a young child.
Going To The 2015 Book Expo America
These days I never go to the library. I purchase most novels on Amazon and download them onto my Kindle. I do still adore books, especially new ones. That’s why I was delighted to attend the 2015 Book Expo America (BEA) at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC last month. The BEA is where publishers showcase their upcoming releases for the year.
The BEA Book Bloggers Conference
On day one, I attended the BEA Book Blogger’s Conference with fellow midlife blogger and friend Helene Bludman Cohen of Books is Wonderful (a great place to go for book recommendations). It was interesting to hear the cognoscenti of the book blogosphere share their passion for books. We also heard self-published authors talk about the triumphs and challenges of being a writer. (Okay folks, I’ve now added ‘writing a memoir’ to my bucket list. I just have other things I want to accomplish first!)
If you want to read reviews about new books, check out these popular blogs:
♥ Book Riot
♥ Entomology of a Bookworm
♥ Books, the Universe and Everything
♥ Melody & Words
New Books That Are All The Buzz
On day two, I walked the exhibit floor as a member of the press, stopping at various publishers and meeting noteworthy and newbie authors. As for my favorites, here are some of the genres and titles that struck a chord and that I look forward to possibly reviewing when they debut — dates are noted next to each book where available:
♥ Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner (August)
♥ Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews (May)
♥ Wisdom Of The Sandbox by Cynthia L Copeland (August) – One tip is “If you want a kitten, start out asking for a horse.”
♥ The Woman’s Wakeup – How To Shake Up Your Looks, Life, and Love After 50 by Lois Joy Johnson (January 2016 – Well, I hope their publicist has me on the list for this self-help book.)
I’m still a sap for a good picture book. The illustrations in these books are just adorable. Maybe I’ll buy a few and save them for my eventual grandchildren!
♥ Snow White 77 Dwarfs by Davide Cali & Raphaelle Barbanegre
♥ The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels with illustrations by Emma Block (November) Ages 6-9
♥ This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary & Juli Morstad
♥ The Good Little Book by Kyo Maclear and pictures by Marion Arbona
♥ How To Tell A Story by Daniel Nayeri (This is 1 Book + 20 Story Blocks = A Million Adventures (October – You’ll want to buy this for your grandchild but keep a copy for yourself. It teaches kids how to tell a story. I’d like to learn too!)
♥ An Armadillo in Paris by Juli Kraulis (May have to get this one for my sister N. She is a Francophile.)
♥ Julia, Child (by Kyo Maclear, pictures by Julie Morstad (OMG – the illustrations in this book blew me away. It is likely the cutest book ever. Definitely a must have about two young chefs.)
I gravitate to cookbooks. I’ve tried to download cookbooks to my iPad but I like a hard copy better.
♥ Rose Water & Orange Blossoms – Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen by Maureen Abood (May – This book looks fantastic. A definite must have on my list.)
♥ Stop & Drop Diet by Liz Vaccariello (December – Not that I have to lose weight, but I really liked her 21-Day Tummy Diet. It’s pretty much the FODMAP diet that helps me control my IBS.)
♥ Crossroads, Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant That Is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine by Tal Ronnen (Tal is the chef who prepared the meals for Oprah Winfrey’s 21-day vegan cleanse.)
♥ Field & Feast, Sublime Food from a Brave New Farm by Dean Carlson (Fall 2015)
♥ Agricola Cookbook by Josh Thomsen with Kate Winslow (April – From the celebrated Princeton, NJ restaurant. The Famous Kale Salad and Cranberry Apple Crostata look delicious.)
♥ Mi Comida Latina by Marcella Kriebel (February – This cookbook is beautifully hand lettered with colorful illustrations for tamales, fish tacos, salsas, etc.)
I’m getting more into redecorating my townhouse to fit my new casual lifestyle.
♥ The Kin Folk Home, Interiors for Slow Living by Nathan Williams (October)
♥ Loveable, Liveable Home, How to Add Beauty, Get Organized, and Make Your House Work for You by Sherry and John Petersik (September – This couple have a DIY blog Young House Love.)
♥ The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering by Valerie McKeehan (October – I had so much fun drawing on my chalk board when I was a kid. Now there are lots of coloring books for adults too – it’s very trendy as a zen/relaxation exercise.)
♥ The Steal Like An Artist Journal – A Notebook For Creative Kleptomaniacs by Austin Kleon (October)
♥ Tea Leaf Reading – A Divination Guide For the Bottom of Your Cup by Dennis Fairchild (October – have you ever wanted to learn how to read tea leaves? I have.)
New Book Giveaway
Because I’m a kid at heart and I’m a yoga instructor in training, I’m giving away a copy of Color Yourself Calm, A Mindfulness Coloring Book. Leave a comment about a book you are excited to read this summer and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Hurry deadline ends next Thursday at noon, June 25.
Remember, this Sunday, June 21st is the Summer Solstice. Be sure to do some sun salutations to welcome summer.
For more book suggestions, click on over to my Books page.
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I’m excited about all the reading I can fit in over the summer! There isn’t nearly as much the rest if the year because I’m a teacher. During the school year a book like this mindfulness coloring book would be very helpful for stress! I just finished Jodi Picoult’s , Leaving Time and have started Paula Hawkins’, Girl on a Train. Kristin Hannah’s, Nightingale and Judy Blume’s, In the Unlikely Event are both waiting in the wings.
Jeanne, thanks for sharing your favorites. I loved “The Nightingale” too. I think it was one of the best books I’ve read lately. I just started “All The Light We Cannot See” – catching up on last year’s big ones.
Looking forward to Kathy Reich’s new book, Speaking in Bones. Love Kathy’s witty writing style.
Haven’t heard of that book, but may have to tell my boyfriend L about it. Sounds like a title he might like.
That must have been a lot of fun to go to the event at the Javits Center. I am a big reader, and my house is overflowing with books so I am now a major user of the public library, like I was when I was a girl. The Lebanese cookbook sounds intriguing!
Allison, good for you that you go to the library. I wish our township library was better and bigger and closer to where I live.
I am so sorry I couldn’t go to BEA with you this year. It sounds like you had an incredible time – perhaps next year. In the meantime thank you for your review. I loved it! Thanks for the recommendations as well.
I hope I win this book because it’s something I need right now. If not I’ll go and purchase it! Thanks, Judy.
Cathy, hope you win too. It was a fun time and I am adding up my reading list for the summer.
Well, I am feeling particularly dumb at the moment. Trying to enter the rafflecopter for the Color Me Calm book by commenting here for 2 entries. But nothing is showing up on my screen for some reason. So if my name and email isn’t showing up on your end please comment back or something so I know. I am reading Reboot by Joe Cross right now. And also The Power of Habit. I have just recently re-discovered the incredible joy and calm of coloring and would absolutely be thrilled to win the book. =)
Allyson, I’ll make sure that you are entered into the giveaway. Will have to check out Reboot. Sounds interesting.
I would love to read Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
DJ, will have to check out McLain’s book and see if I should add it to my summer reading list.
I love coloring, still! I recently bought a coloring book but I can always use another one.
Coloring books for adults are the new craze. This one is very creative.
Took your blogging class and now blog for parents of kids in recovery. Thanks for helping me find a voice. Found a faded hard copy of a book published in 1997, The Man Who Listens to Horses by Monty Roberts. Beautiful parallels for humans as well.
Nancy, so glad to hear from you and that you are blogging. Hope you find it as rewarding as I do.
I can’t wait to get my hands on MKA’S Beachtown. She visited Fairhope and several others I’m familiar with down here. Plus, I’ve read just about everything she’s written under her MKA name.
Pamela, I want to read that book too. It sounds really like a good getaway book.
Judi – Thanks for sharing this. I would love to win the giveaway.
Mall of Style
Linda, hope you win too.
I just discovered your fabulous blog!
I also used to go to the public library as a young child only in Brooklyn, NY. My mother would drop me off and do her shopping on Ave. J. I was 7 & 8 years old and I was left to explore the children’s section. Can you imagine doing that today?! Afterwards we would get a black & white cookie.
My family moved to Cherry Hill, NJ in 1965 and I can remember when the Cherry Hill library was brand new! What memories! I no longer live in NJ as I’m in Bucks County, Pa.
Anyway I’m excited to have found your blog ! I love the positive and uplifting posts and look forward to reading more! Thanks for the book recommendations!
Diane, So nice to have you as a reader. Sounds like our paths are similar. I lived in Cherry Hill, but after your stay.